ColumnThanks be for the AVClub because the salty-tongued news site made us aware of how “The Hair”–a totally inoffensive hairstyle phenomenon–is taking over every female film and television stars’ head.
“What is this magical hair you speak of,” you may be wondering. Well, The Hair is easy to find. Just flip on your set, or open your favorite streaming app, and surf until you find a sitcom that’s casted women aged 18-34 and you’ll see what we’re talking about.
And for those of you who don’t want to take the time to find what we’re talking about: Let us paint a word picture for you.
The Hair is long and flowing. It’s straight on top and features loose curls that fall a few inches below the shoulders. While most versions of The Hair are sans bangs, some versions, such as the kind worn by Zooey Deschanel, feature some fringe.
Now, there’s nothing actually wrong with this hairstyle. After all, it’s cute, photographs well, and is totally normal-inoffensive, even. It’s all these “Hair” attributes that make this hairstyle so ubiquitous.
Over at Racked, Cynthia Vanis, a hairstyle department manager for film and television studios, said the following about The Hair:
“Over the last couple of years, straight hair went out and embracing more of a curl or wave took over. Also, it’s so much more manageable with shooting. Straight hair moves a lot, and if one piece is out of place, you can totally tell. You can cheat easier when there’s more movement within the hair.”
Vanis also described The Hair as “super relatable and versatile” and “not specific,” AV Club reports.
Now, on the surface, those descriptors read completely harmless, but if you dig a bit deeper, they kind of are.
Because really, what real-life woman has perfect hair every single day of her life that also is considered perfectly relatable and versatile? These are the kind of standards society expects all women to reach every day of their lives.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with latching on to trends–and from the sound of what Vanis is saying, The Hair is just another Hollywood trend. But to portray The Hair as a beauty norm or “the ideal” is ridiculous. Sure, Hollywood hair departments aren’t the enemy; these stylists do what they have to do to ensure starlets look great at every angle.
But it would be nice if lady-entertainment-watchers could see different hairstyles on television and in movies. No woman is the same and while all of us know this, it’s a bit problematic that something labeled inoffensive is so frequently used.
And yeah, we realize that “Diversity Issue #1” is to get more women of color, women who are different sizes, and transgender actors in prominent roles, but we still wish that beauty and hairstyles could become more diverse, too.
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Image of The Hair via Featureflash Photo Agency, Shutterstock